United Utilities in board changes as Rowe departs

Warrington-based water giant United Utilities has announced board changes.

The firm said that after seven years on the board, Paulette Rowe, independent non-executive director and chair of the ESG Committee, will not seek reappointment at the AGM on July 19, 2024, “following her move overseas to take up an executive role.”

Clare Hayward has been appointed as an independent non-executive director and will be appointed as a member of the Nomination Committee and the ESG Committee.

United Utilities chair David Higgins said: “I would like to extend the board’s thanks to Paulette for her commitment and contribution throughout her tenure, and in particular, her valuable guidance and support toward improving our approach to equity, diversity and inclusion across the business. We wish her all the best for the future.

“We are delighted that Clare has accepted the role to join the board. She is a passionate advocate for the North West, holding a number of roles in organisations focused on the economic and social growth of our region and the North of England more widely, supporting job creation and social and environmental development, helping to position the region as a centre of innovation. 

“Living in our region and at the heart of programmes to develop our communities, I have no doubt her entrepreneurial background will bring a fresh approach to our board thinking. I am delighted she has accepted the role.”

United Utilities said Hayward has played an active role in the economy across northern England, having chaired the NP11 group of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) since June 2023 and the Cheshire and Warrington LEP since 2020, having been a member of its board since 2015.

“She has strong links with local and central Government,” said United Utilities. “Her background is in strategy consulting and she was a co-founder of Cirrus, a leadership and talent consultancy, sold to Accenture in 2021. 

On stepping down on 19 July 2024, Rowe will be succeeded by Liam Butterworth as chair of the ESG Committee.